From where I sit On The Kowch, this year’s 78 day federal election campaign will be better for talk radio ratings than the last 37 day election campaign in 2011. Why? Because by the time the PPM ratings started on August 31st in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver and in the smaller diary markets on Labour Day, almost half the campaign took place during the hot lazy days of summer when more Canadians traditionally listen to FM music than talk radio. So there was no talk radio election fatigue at the start of the most important rating period of the year for radio stations in Canada.
Another reason is because of what happened 48 hours into the PPM ratings, when Canadians woke up to the photo of a lifeless three-year-old Alan Kurdi whose body washed up on the shores of a beach in Turkey.
From where I sit On The Kowch, it was only a matter of time before radio stations in Canada would follow the lead of 600 American broadcasters who use the new technology known as Voltair to boost PPM rating results. Sources tell me that four of the biggest radio groups in Canada secretly used Voltair between March and the end of May of this year on some of their radio stations to boost their 2015 Spring PPM rating results.
“It definitely impacted the stations using Voltair,” one radio source told me. “Evanov Communications, Corus, Newcap and Bell tested the technology. Newcap had Voltair on most of their stations. Bell tested it out on one of their AM stations.”
From where I sit On The Kowch, I paused upon hearing the news that former Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau died at the age of 84. As an anglophone Quebecer, I’m supposed to hate the man who almost succeeded breaking up Canada on October 30, 1995 when the Yes side in Quebec’s second referendum received 49.6% support from voters. You can’t get any closer than that … he lost the referendum by less than a half share point and blamed “the ethnics and money” for the defeat. The next day he quit as premier.
I raised my two daughters, Melissa and Layla, that “hate” is too strong a word to be used carelessly. So I find it difficult to have hate on my mind upon hearing the news of his death. Instead, what came to my mind was the first time I met Parizeau and how our encounter made front page news.
From where I sit On The Kowch, BCE Chairman George Cope is sending a strong message to his new Bell Media President, Mary Ann Turcke; CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais and CTV News President Wendy Freeman with his announcement of new rules to “enhance protection of journalistic independence”.
In its First Quarter 2015 Report and later to reporters, Cope is trying to dig out from the fallout of allegations that former Bell Media president Kevin Crull interfered with CTV’s news coverage of a CRTC decision. Crull ordered CTV News not to put the chair of the CRTC on its newscasts after the CRTC directed TV providers to offer cheaper cable and satellite packages.
Here is what BCE says in the First Quarter 2015 Report: